Negotiating Neoliberalism

Studies in Professional Life and Work

Book 3
Springer
Free sample

"Following the financial crises in 2007, we have seen the intensification of neoliberal policies in education, with radical and potentially irrevocable shifts in the educational landscape, promoted under the auspices of ‘austerity’. This book highlights the central features of neoliberal education policies, their origins, recent developments and also their inherent weaknesses and flaws. It provides insights into the day to day realities and negative impacts of recent policies on the professional practice and work of educators, demonstrating how the changing conditions have led to de-professionalisation, alienation and a loss of professional autonomy and identity. The book also provides a set of accounts that detail the new realities emerging as a result of ‘austerity’ policies and questions the degree to which austerity has actually been developed as an ideological ‘cover story’ for the further monetisation and privatisation of public services. The various chapters challenge the common assumption that the neoliberal project is a monolithic orthodoxy by highlighting its complexities, variations and contradictions in the ways policies are refracted through action and practice in different contexts. The book also challenges the common assumption that there are no viable alternatives to neoliberal education policies, and does so by presenting a range of different examples, theoretical perspectives, discourses and alternative practices. It is argued that such alternatives not only highlight the range of different approaches, choices and possibilities but also provide the seedbed for a reimagined educational future. The authors offer a range of conceptual and theoretical insights and analyses that highlight the weaknesses and limitations inherent within the neoliberal education project and also illustrate the dangers in following the prevailing hegemonic discourse and trajectories. It is postulated that alternative educational approaches warrant greater and urgent attention because history suggests that rather than having weathered the recent economic crisis, we may well be witnessing the long tail of decline for the neoliberal project.This book will be useful for educators, researchers, students and policy makers interested in the detrimental effects of neoliberal education, the range of viable alternatives, and the routes to resistance and ways of reimagining alternative educational futures."
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Publisher
Springer
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Published on
Jan 28, 2017
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Pages
210
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ISBN
9789463008549
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Language
English
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Genres
Education / General
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This content is DRM protected.
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We live in an age of narrative: life stories are a crucial ingredient in what makes us human and, in turn, what kind of human they make us. In recent years, narrative analysis has grown and is used across many areas of research. Interest in this rapidly developing approach now requires the firm theoretical underpinning that would allow researchers to both approach such research in a reliably structured way, and to interpret the results more effectively.

Developing Narrative Theory looks at the contemporary need to study life narratives, considers the emergence and salience of life narratives in contemporary culture, and discusses different forms of narrativity. It shows in detail how life story interviews are conducted, and demonstrates how the process often begins with relatively unstructured life story collection but moves to a more collaborative exchange, where sociological themes and historical patterns are scrutinised and mutually explored.

At the core of this book, the author shows that, far from there being a singular form of narrative or an infinite range of unique and idiosyncratic narratives, there are in fact clusters of narrativity and particular types of narrative style. These can be grouped into four main areas:

Focussed Elaborators;

Scripted Describers;

Armchair Elaborators; and

Focussed Describers.

Drawing on data from several large-scale studies from countries across the world, Professor Goodson details how theories of narrativity and life story analysis can combine to inform learning potential.

Timely and innovative, this book will be of use to all of those employing narrative and life history methods in their research. It will also be of interest to those working in lifelong learning and with professional and self development practices.

Recent writing on education and social change, and a growing number of new governmental initiatives across Western societies have proceeded in denial or ignorance of the personal missions and biographical trajectories of key public sector personnel. This book stems from an underpinning belief that we have to understand the personal biographical if we are to understand the fate of social and political initiatives.

In education a pattern has emerged in many countries around the world. Each new government enshrines targets and tests to ensure that teachers at the frontline delivery are ‘more accountable’. Whilst this often provides evidence of symbolic action to the electorate or professional audiences, the evidence at the level of service delivery is often far less impressive. Targets, tests and tables may win wide support from the public, but there are often negligible or even contradictory effects at the point of delivery, enforced by the ignorance or denial of personal missions and biographical mandates. This book locates most of its analysis and discussion at the point of culture clash between centralised dictates, and individual and collective life missions. Whilst the early part of the book considers a range of issues related to school curriculum, the focus on the biographical and life narrative becomes increasingly important as the analysis proceeds.

Curriculum, Personal Narrative and the Social Future will be of key interest to practising teachers, educational researchers and students on teacher training courses, postgraduate courses and doctoral courses.
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